Govt demands Joshi, CAG clear air on 2G allocation losses

Govt demands Joshi, CAG clear air on 2G allocation losses

Taking note of allegations levelled by a former CAG official on the body and PAC about 2G allocation losses, the government today demanded that PAC Chairperson Murli Manohar Joshi and CAG clear the air on the issue.

"The issues raised by R P Singh, former DG, P&T, in CAG are very germane. What is extremely important is that in May 2010 when the draft report was prepared the loss was quantified at Rs 2,645 crore but in November 2010 when the report was presented in Parliament this loss jumped to Rs 1.76 Lakh crore. How did this leap of faith take place?" Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari told reporters.

Giving twist to the allocation controversy, former Comptroller and Auditor General official R P Singh had questioned the CAG's estimates of presumptive loss of Rs 1.76 lakh crore.

"After completing the audit of Ministry of Telecom, which was under my direct charge, I prepared a draft audit report covering each and every aspect ... My report did not contain any loss figure," he had said yesterday.

Tewari asked who was responsible for increasing the presumptive loss figures and said this issue should be addressed by the CAG.

"The second question is about propriety. The PAC is supposed to independently exercise oversight over the reports of CAG. If what R P Singh has said is true about the CAG officials actually taking assistance of the PAC in the preparation of its report, does this not amount to a conflict of interest?" Tewari said.

He sought to know if this is a convention or a tradition which has been followed earlier and whether this was done officially or unofficially.

"These are questions that the PAC Chairperson, Murli Manohar Joshi, for whom I have the utmost respect, needs to answer," the minister said. BJP, however, denied these allegations and maintained that it has been proved that government suffered losses in the 2G spectrum allocation and that there was corruption in the deals.

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